Jet Airways’ new flights between Hong Kong and Amsterdam via Mumbai offer Europe-bound travellers even more comfort and flexibility, discovers Nick Walton on a recent flight between Asia and India’s commercial capital en route to the Neatherlands.
I checked in my luggage at Hong Kong International Airport’s Terminal 2, which offers an easier security process and a quick transfer to the Plaza Premium lounge near gate 40, access to which is offered to the airline’s Premiere business class and First Class passengers. Departure was from the new Midfield Concourse onto a Boeing 777-300ER with 8 seats in First Class, 30 in Premiere, and 308 in Economy.
Jet Airways’ crew, dressed in their sophisticated dark blue and vibrant yellow uniforms, welcomed us onboard with hot towels and glasses of fruit juice. The modern, elegantly-appointed herringbone business cabin layout was in a 1-2-1 configuration, with seats in soothing cream and burgundy. These are among my favourite seats in the air; there’s plenty space, and amenities galore. Each seat converts into a 185cm flat bed at the push of a button, and includes 90cm of space at shoulder level (when lying down) and 84cm at the hips. My window seat 9A was just behind the galley but maintained a sense of privacy and included electronic lumbar support, an ample service tray, independent air controls, little pockets to store phones and adapters, in-seat power, and a 15.4-inch personal monitor, which gives travellers access to the airline’s comprehensive Panasonic eX2 on-demand entertainment system.
Having taken drink and dinner orders before takeoff, crew were quick to commence the meal service, serving glasses of Billecart-Salmon Champagne and piping hot towels with smiles and an air of refinement. The airline offers a flexible Dine Anytime menu, ideally suited for night flights. This featured a green pea and mint soup, followed by the choice of Southern Indian Jhinga curry with prawns, tamarind and coconut; spicy honey glazed roast chicken with snap peas and egg noodles; Kadhai Paneer with capsicum, tomatoes and crushed coriander; and Mushroom Wellington with sautéed vegetables and a creamy carrot sauce. I matched the chicken, which was perfectly cooked and seasoned, with a glass of Cecelia Beretta Lugana from Italy. I skipped dessert – a choice of rasmalai cheese dumplings in condensed milk, or orange banana cake – deciding instead to make the most of the darkened cabin by watching one of the many recent release movies on offer, before grabbing some sleep, with thoughtful crew making up my bed while I changed.
An hour later I woke as we prepared to descend into rainy Mumbai; we arrived on time despite the foul weather, and within 20 minutes I had been guided through transit security and was in the airline’s chic new GVK Lounge, where I showered and prepared for my continuing journey to Amsterdam.
JetAirways’ already legendary service remains a fundamental component to the airline’s success on its direct services from Hong Kong to Mumbai and Delhi, with the carrier now offering convenient links between Asia and its new hub, Amsterdam. Hong Kong-Mumbai return in Premiere from HK$14,680 (US$1,893) per person; www.jetairways.com